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Monday, March 31, 2014

Pastorgraphs: “When Restoring Trust Pays Off”

E-Vangel Newsletter
March 31, 2014

Pastorgraphs: “When Restoring Trust Pays Off”

Do I see evidence of integrity or the lack thereof in the news every day? “You betcha’” (a term I learned in Wisconsin). It is a rare day that I cannot correlate the local, state or national news to some aspect of integrity.

Forget the low hanging fruit: the state senator arrested for taking bribes, the police department being investigated for sexually exploiting women, or the drunken hit-and-run drivers who end the lives of our community’s most valued, promising citizens. All terrible examples; but sadly we have come to expect that in the daily news.

While watching CBS’ 60 Minutes last night, there was another “aha moment”. It came at the end of the story about how the stock market has been rigged by some traders. They “front run” electronic transactions of honest traders by a billionth of a second, buy the anticipated stocks, and sell them back at a slightly higher price, maybe pennies per stock. When you consider they do this with millions of transactions per day, it all adds up. A part of the ruse is that it is so insignificant, no one will notice, or complain. Although it is technically not illegal, (another example of how laws cannot keep up with technology) it is not fair or just. The opposite of a virtue is a vice, and this is vice.

The CBS story told us the courageous efforts a handful of traders took to discover how the system had been rigged, and created a whole new exchange that leveled the playing field by creating “speed bumps” to nullify the billionth-of-a-second advantage.

What caught my attention were the closing words of the story. Thanks to 60 Minutes publishing their transcripts online, here are those words:

“We're selling trust. We're selling transparency. And to think that trust is actually a differentiator in a service business, it's kind of a crazy thought, right?
“Why is this kid, why is he able to all of a sudden sit at the center of the American stock market? And the answer is, when someone walks in the door who is actually trustworthy, he has enormous power. And this is the story, story of trying to restore trust to the financial markets.” (CBS 60 Minutes)

Will we ever learn that integrity and character pay real dividends? Cheating, gaming the system, or playing by your own set of rules might get you short term gains, but what does it a profit a person to gain the whole world and lose their own soul?

I know you may be tired of my relentless messages on integrity. I am a voice crying in a wilderness to a world that doesn’t want to hear about integrity, honesty, justice, virtues, ethics and character.

But what I hope sinks in is that integrity is good for you: your quality of life, your financial bottom line and (most of all) your soul.

So is the gospel! God’s love is good for you.

I did not chose to be the integrity whisperer. God gave me the message and asked me to share it with you. It’s “good news” if you apply it to your life. So maybe it is not so strange to “preach” integrity. John Wesley framed a similar message as a call to holy living and accountability. Same hymn, different verse.

So until the Jeremiah fire-in-my-bones burns out, or until these lips lay silent in the grave, I will continue to preach the good news of integrity.

Integrity is aligning your head, hands and heart with God’s perfect will for your life. It is the only path to true happiness, wholeness, and blessedness.

And, oh yes, as 60 minutes affirmed last night, integrity is good for business!

Devotedly yours, Bill Jenkins

From the Quote Garden:
“When someone walks in the door who is actually trustworthy,
he has enormous power.”
~ Michael Lewis ~ (CBS 60 Minutes)

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